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peaks of patagonia
Peaks of Patagonia
peaks of patagonia
Peaks of Patagonia
peaks of patagonia

Plan your adventure in Patagonia

Kandoo's View

All lovers of the great outdoors have seen photos of the majestic peaks of Patagonia and yearned to just grab their backpack and jump on a plane.  Let Kandoo Adventures help you make that dream come true. On this trip we will gaze up at the awe inspiring summits of Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, Torres Del Paine and Cerro Paine Grande. Staying in refuges and camping in the shadow of the mountains, we will travel to all the most iconic sights of this remote and wild corner of the earth. 

This adventure is for those who want to journey into the very heart of the mountains. In Los Glaciares National Park we will spend 4 days trekking from El Chalten to Laguna Condor, making camp each evening.  Crossing the border into Chile, we will then take on the world renowned W Trek in Torres del Paine National Park.  A physicaly challenging journey that will give huge rewards and memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.  

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Detailed itinerary

1Buenos Aires

After a night flight we will arrive in Buenos Aires early in the morning and transfer to the Waldorf Hotel (around 1 hour transfer).  After some time to settle in at the hotel we will meet our local guide and set off for a tour of the city.  We will visit the picturesque Boca district and tour the flea markets of San Telmo.  In the evening we have free time to explore alone and find a nice place for dinner, a great opportunity to get a glimpse of local life in Argentina.

  • Accommodation: Waldorf Hotel
2To El Chalten

Today we transfer back to the airport for our flight down to El Calafate.  The flight is around 3 ½ hours and on arrival we will meet our mountain guide who will accompany us for the rest of the tour.  We will have lunch in El Calafate before jumping on a local bus to El Chalten, a journey of about 2 ½ hours.  Once we arrive in El Chalten (weather permitting) we will be able to see the peaks of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre rising up in the distance.  We transfer to Hotel Lunajuim and settle down for the evening.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Lumajuim
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
3Beneath Cerro Torre

Today we will leave some of our luggage secure at the hotel so we are only carrying the bare minimum for the next 4 days of trekking.  Our first objective is Laguna Torre at the foot of the breath-taking Cerro Torre peak.  Our trail passes through forests and various view points as we wind our way up to the lake.  If the weather is clear we can continue past the lake, along the Fitz Roy river to the Maestri Viewpoint and gaze up at the incredible Grande Glacier.  After taking some time to appreciate the awesome, near vertical granite peaks surrounding us, we head to the Thorwood Campsite to spend the night.

  • Ascent: 450m
  • Descent: 200m
  • Walking: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
4To Poincenot Camp

After breakfast and breaking camp, we set out for the peak of Loma de las Pizarras at 1708m.  The name translates as “The Slate Hill” and from the top we will have spectacular views of Mt Fitzroy and the surrounding peaks and valleys.  After some time to relax and soak up the scene, we descend again and pass by the Madre and Hija lagoons before arriving at Poincenot Campsite.

  • Ascent: 1100m
  • Descent: 1100m
  • Walking: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Tent
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
5Fitz Roy and Laguna Condor

Today we start with a steep climb up to Laguna de los Tres.  Mount Fitz Roy towers above the icy waters of the lake and we take some time to enjoy our surroundings and take some photos.  A little further along the trail, we look down on the turquoise waters of Laguna Sucia and up to the granite spires and hanging glaciers above.  We then start to descend on a little used trail to the Laguna Piedras Blancas and view the glacier there, cascading down the mountainside into the water.  We end our day at the Laguna Condor Mountain Refuge, where after two nights of camping we are treated to comfortable twin or double log cabins with private bathrooms, set in the trees on the edge of the lake. 

  • Ascent: 400m
  • Descent: 400m
  • Walking: 6 to 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Laguna Condor Mountain Refuge
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
6Loma del Diablo

We leave the refuge this morning and climb a ridge to the summit of Loma del Diablo at 1450m. From here we have incredible views of the northern side of Fitz Roy and the surrounding peaks and lagoons.  A truly magnificent way to mark the end of our time in the north of Los Glaciares National park.  After some time at the summit we descend again and transfer back to El Chalten.

  • Ascent: 1000m
  • Descent: 1000m
  • Walking: 8 to 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Lumajuim
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
7To El Calafate

Today we travel south by bus, passing the vast Lago Viedma and Lago Argentino, back to El Calafate.  The journey by bus will take roughly 2 ½ hours and on arrival we will transfer to Hotel Kapenke.  This afternoon we have free time to explore El Calafate, a great opportunity to do some shopping and explore the town.  You could also take the 2km trail to Laguna Nimez, home to hundreds of bird species.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Kapenke
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
8Perito Moreno Glacier

Today we will enter the Los Glaciares National Park once again and have a private tour of the remarkable Perito Moreno Glacier.  The glacier is considered the biggest attraction in Argentinian Patagonia.  Stretching for 19 miles as it falls from the Patagonian Ice Cap into the waters of Lago Argentino, the wall of ice looms 240ft high. Gigantic ice boulders break away and fall dramatically into the otherwise peaceful waters of the lake.  You will have the opportunity to do a boat tour on the lake which is highly recommended.  The views of the glacier wall from the water are staggering.  In the afternoon we return to El Calafate, the 78km journey takes about 1 ½ hours each way.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Kapenke
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
9Over the border to Chile

As we begin our journey toward Torres Del Paine National Park, we say good bye to Argentina for the time being and cross the border into Chile. Traveling by local bus, our destination today is the town of Puerto Natales.  The bus journey should take around 5 hours but could be longer depending on the border crossing formalities.  Once we arrive, we transfer to Hotel Vendaval and there will be some time to explore the town and get a feel for life on the Chilean side of Patagonia.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Vendaval
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
10Torres Del Paine

A short drive of less than two hours in a private vehicle will take us to Torres Del Paine.  However, on the way we are going to stop and climb the small peak of Cerro Dorotea, a short hike which should take us around 3 hours.  From the top there is magnificent panoramic views of Seño Ultima Esperanza, literally translated as the “fjord of the last hope”. The navigator Juan Ladrillero named the fjord in 1557, because he felt it was his last chance to reach the Strait of Magellan. The fjord ends in a glacier and does not reach the strait. On a clear day we can also the see the peaks of Torres Del Paine in the distance.  After descending we continue our drive north to a mountain refuge inside the national park where we will spend the night.

NOTE: We are about to begin the W Trek and should carry only what we need for the next 4 days.  You can leave luggage in secure storage at the hotel in Puerto Natales until we return. 

  • Ascent: 460m
  • Descent: 460m
  • Walking: 3 hours / 5km
  • Accommodation: Torre Central Refuge / Torre Norte Refuge
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
11The W Trek - Las Torres

Torres del Paine National Park was established in 1959 and designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978. “Paine” means blue, a reference to the colour of the glaciers and lakes that have made the park so famous.  This morning our first objective is Refugio Chileno, after a flat start from the refuge the trail starts to climb up the Ascencio valley and is moderately steep in places.  The scenery surrounding us is breath taking right from the beginning.  After 2 – 3 hours the trail descends into forest and we find the refuge and campground on the banks of the river.  Beyond the refuge we follow an easy track by the river for 3km before starting a difficult and strenuous climb to Mirador las Torres.  The trail is steep and rocky with large boulders scattered about the mountainside, a demanding ascent even for experienced hikers.  At the top the reward is staggering.  You are standing at the foot of the Torres del Paine, the three granite towers that give the park its name. Raising 4000ft into the sky above you, their distant peaks are reflected in the lake at your feet.  After taking some time to contemplate the majesty of our surroundings, we turn back and begin our descent back to the Refuge. 

  • Ascent: 1200m
  • Descent: 1200m
  • Walking: 7 to 8 hours
  • Accommodation: Refuge Torres Central / Norte
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
12The W Trek - To the Cuernos sector

After a full-on day yesterday, today we take it easy. We are heading to the Cuernos sector of the park at the foot of the Cuerno del Paine massif.  An easy 12 km trail along the edge of Lake Nordenskjold takes us to the Cuernos Refuge where we will stay the night.

  • Ascent: 400m
  • Descent: 400m
  • Walking: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Cuernos Refuge
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
13The W Trek - The French Valley

Today we will leave the refuge early (around 7.30am) as we have a big 25km day ahead of us!  Our first objective is the Italian camp, a relatively flat walk of 5km and a good warm up.  From here we start to climb more steeply on a rocky trail up the valley. 3050m Paine Grande towers over us with the French Glacier clinging to its side.  We will stop at the Mirador del Frances (the French viewpoint) for awesome views of the peak.  Another 2 to 3 hours of challenging ascent will take us to Mirador Britanico (the British viewpoint) at the head of the valley. Here in the heart of the of the national park the scenery on all sides is jaw-dropping.  We are surrounded by the peaks of Paine Grande, Hoja, Mascara, Cuerno Norte, Fortaleza and Catedral.  We still have a long way to go so, hard as it may be to leave this unreal viewpoint, we begin our descent back down the valley.  After reaching the Italian camp we cross a bridge over the Rio Frances and follow an easy trail for 7km to reach Paine Grande Refuge on the shore of Lago Pehoe.

  • Ascent: 850m
  • Descent: 850m
  • Walking: 10 hours
  • Accommodation: Paine Grande Refuge
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
14The W Trek - Lago Grey

Our final day on the W Trek takes us along the banks of Lago Grey to reach the dramatic glacier at the head of the lake.  There is no major ascent although the path will steadily climb as we cross the undulating terrain.  Looking down to our left we can see huge blocks of blueish ice that have detached from the glacier and now drift in the lake.  After roughly 6km a rocky outcrop provides our first views of the glacier, a whopping 6km across and 90ft high in places.  After arriving at Grey Refuge, we will take a boat trip for some up close views of the glacier and disembark at Hotel Grey back on the south end of the lake where we started out this morning. From the hotel a private transfer will take us back to Puerto Natales.

  • Ascent: 450m
  • Descent: 450m
  • Walking: 4 to 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Vendaval
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
15Back to El Calafate

Today we travel from Puerto Natales back to El Calafate by bus, crossing the border back into Argentina.  Depending on formalities at the border the journey should take roughly 5 hours.  After arriving back in El Calafate you will have some free time to have a wonder around the town.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Kapenke
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
16Back to Buenos Aires

This morning we say goodbye to Patagonia as we transfer to the airport and board our flight back to Buenos Aires.  On arrival we will be transferred to the Waldorf Hotel and have some free time to spend exploring the city.

  • Accommodation: Waldorf Hotel
  • Meals: Breakfast
17Departure

Transfer to the international airport for your flight home.

  • Meals: Breakfast

Availability and prices

Last Updated August 12 2020
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Route
Arrival
Days
Price
Comment
 
 
Arrival: October 2 2021
Days: 17
Price: £5299 $6895 €0
Comment: Minimum 6
Arrival: November 6 2021
Days: 17
Price: £5299 $6895 €0
Comment: Minimum 6
Arrival: December 4 2021
Days: 17
Price: £5299 $6895 €0
Comment: Minimum 6
Included
  • Domestic flights
  • All accommodation
  • All transportation
  • 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Guided tour of Buenos Aires
  • Camping equipment
  • All airport transfers
  • All National Park entry fees
  • Lago Grey boat tour
Not included
  • International flights and visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses

Difficulty

Difficulty Level 3/5 MODERATE

This Patagonia adventure is of moderate difficulty. You will be trekking for up to 4 days at a time, occasionally on steep and rocky terrain. The maximum distance covered on a single day is 25km. There may be as much as 1100m of vertical ascent and descent in a day. You should be fit and healthy with recent experience of walking in a mountainous environment for several days in a row. On steep and possibly loose ground, care should be taken to avoid slips and trips. The weather in Patagonia is notoriously changeable and you should be prepared to walk in strong winds and heavy rain. If you have any questions about your suitability for this trip please feel free to get in touch. 

Comfort

Comfort level 1/5 CAMPING

While trekking in the Fitz Roy region of Los Glaciares National Park, we will be camping.  A 3 man tent is provided for 2 people along with a mattress per person. A dinning tent is provided for taking meals and for use as a communal space.  Tables, chairs and eating utensils are all provided.  The campsites will have "long drop" style toilets and no showers. Sleeping bags are provided but you may bring your own if you prefer. 

At other times we will stay in mountain refuges in dormitory rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Sleeping bags are not provided in the refuges but can be hired if necessary. Laguna Condor refuge near El Chalten is an exception, this refuge features cosy double or twin, en-suite log cabins.

All other accommodation is in 3 star hotels in double or twin en-suite rooms. 

 

 

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